Packaging is at the heart of promoting a product, influencing consumers’ buying behaviours, alongside keeping products safe through their journey. However, we cannot ignore the impact the packaging industry has on the environment. Reducing our environmental impact isn’t just important to Greyhound Box as a company, but to us all as individuals too. We live and breathe sustainability.

That is why we decided to transform the way we work, embed environmental practices into what we do and help our customers become more sustainable along the way. But it all starts with the small steps we take at Greyhound Box. Reducing emissions, eliminating waste, and running on less energy are some of the ways that are helping us strive for a more sustainable future.

Our pledge

We have joined thousands of UK businesses that are tackling climate change. In 2021 we made a commitment to cut carbon emissions and protect our planet by making our pledge with SME Climate Hub to become a net-zero business by 2040.

Where we are now

There is no time to waste. Annually at Greyhound Box we start with taking the first and most important step towards our environmental journey – setting our environmental objectives. Each year we take time out of our busy schedules to sit and reflect on what we have achieved, where we are now and what we would like our future to look like. Our newly updated environmental objectives for 2022 are:

  1. Reduce atmospheric pollution caused by vehicle emissions
  2. Reduce electricity usage by 15%
  3. Reduce office paper consumption
  4. Reduce use (CuM) of water by 0.1%
  5. Ensure disposal of print washdown water is as per consent
  6. Maintain Gas usage on the same level
  7. Environmental Noise pollution
  8. Reduction of single-use plastic
  9. Promote recycling and Zero Waste Lifestyle
  10. Reduce carbon footprint
  11. Wood recycling

In 2012 we were accredited our ISO 14001 certification, which we are extremely proud of. The standard confirms our commitment to managing our environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner, which contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability.

Our other efforts have been focused on diverting more waste from landfills.  We completed our wood recycling certification to enhance our efforts. As an exciting project, we repurposed old pallets and created a lovely outdoor seating area for all our employees to enjoy in the glorious sunshine whilst on their break.

Small Steps for a Bigger Picture

We don’t just stop there. We always strive to work on smaller projects throughout the year to educate our staff on the small steps we can all take to make a bigger contribution.

1.Reducing our use of Plastic

At Greyhound Box we have made steps towards reducing the use of plastic and single-use bottles and cups across our site. One way we tackled this is by investing in reusable water bottles for all our employees to use whilst at work. Our plastic water fountains have also been upgraded and are now plumbed in at the mains, meaning there is no plastic in sight and instant water is available.

We love working with clients and suppliers who share the same sustainable ethos as us. For example, our suppliers and client Solupak produce an eco-responsible and easy-to-use range of pre-dosed, concentrated surface cleaning products, that are encapsulated in fully water-soluble sachets – meaning no plastic bottles are in sight! The environmental benefits are endless!

2.Monitoring Electricity and Water

Our focus isn’t just on plastic waste, but on electricity too. The cost of electricity has shot up this year, but it also weighs huge environmental impacts, emitting greenhouse gasses and other air pollutants. With that in mind, we have taken steps to reduce our electric output. Due to our mini skip in the yard being electric, which make a conscious effort to minimise the times these are emptied and inside we have retrofitted timers to our heaters.

Sometimes you have to learn from your mistakes. That’s exactly what we had to do after we had an accidental overnight water leak. After this disaster, we had an amazing device fitted that completely shuts the water supply down after 10 minutes of continuous running water. Although it’s an investment, in the long run, it reduces costs and the use of water, especially if there was another leak!

3.Paper, Packaging and Recycling

The importance of waste management and recycling to reduce the effect of toxic wastes on the environment in the packaging industry is huge. It can however be a little confusing knowing which bin is for what, and what can and can’t be recycled. In our warehouse we have lots of different bins, so to make things a little easier each bin in our warehouse has its own labels so everyone correctly separates waste ready for collection. To also reduce the number of batteries being disposed of as municipal solid waste, we have an allocated battery tub for staff to recycle their used batteries.

Sometimes it can be too easy to accidentally waste paper. Therefore, we made an environmental decision to reduce the amount of paper we use, switch to recycled paper and if there is any scrap paper that’s not confidential, we’ll use it to take notes on. Cutting down on our waste paper is not only benefiting us environmentally but financially too – meaning we can spend money on more exciting things!

We don’t just want to lead by example; we like to help our customers too. Our product portfolio offers sustainable alternatives to packaging accessories and recycled content. Internally we switched to 30% recycled content wrapping, to offer to our customers before the plastic packaging tax came into force. Our technical managers can even create bespoke packaging that eliminates or reduces unnecessary materials and plastic from clients packaging.

Our plans for 2022 and beyond

We are constantly looking at new ways to improve our environmental accreditation. Later this year we have some exciting projects to help us get there, from an environmental packaging conference in November, a new waste management company in a few months (watch this space) and plans with the Forest Stewardship Council and zero waste landfill. We cannot wait to see where our green future takes us.

Going green doesn’t have to be difficult. Small changes can have huge effects on your business’s environmental impact. Although we aren’t there yet, we are always taking small steps to help us get to where we want to be. Our aim is to create sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging, that not only benefits us but our customers too. If you are looking to work with an environmentally conscious packaging company, please get in touch.